Ready, Set, Weekend with Simply Beautiful Eating
Sometimes I get ideas in my head and I have no clue where they come from. Last week, I decided that fondant was a good thing to try. Why would I even think this would be a good idea? Who needs to futz around with fondant if they don’t have to? Apparently, I do.
Now listen. If you want to attempt to make your own fondant, go right ahead. It’s fairly easy to do and aside from the fact that it’s “sticky business”, it can be fun to get your hands into globs of sugar and gooeyness.
For this shoot, I used a store bought vanilla fondant that came in a big tub. I found it at the local bulk food store BUT my friend Francesca shared her recipe for fondant with me and I will be sharing it with you today. She’s so NICE! It looks easy enough, but I was thinking I may end up in the same scenario as I did when I tried making cobwebs out of melted marshmallows for Halloween cupcakes. Remember that? I’m trying to forget it.
I wanted to make something special for Valentines Day, which is coming up this weekend. Guess what? It involved oodles and oodles of hearts. I have all sizes of cookie cutters in heart shapes, so I hauled out my gear and went to town. My intent was to make a “few” hearts. What happened here (and happens many times in my kitchen) is that I misjudged the amount of fondant I was using and ended up with A MILLION hearts.
I had no idea what I was going to do with ALL OF THESE. I paced and circled the kitchen and finally decided on two recipes that would be perfect for these little cuties.
A simple vanilla slab cake and some pink sugar cookies. Now these are not just your average sugar cookies. Sticking to my diet of gluten and dairy free, I decided to make them without all purpose flour and milk. Wanna know something? They came out great! I also wanted to add some pink to the dough, so I used beetroot powder which I also came across at the bulk food store and LOOK how stunning they are! I mean really.
What did I do with the rest of the hearts? They are currently lurking behind the yogurt and leftover roast chicken in my fridge. If anyone out there needs hearts, just let me know. I will even drop them off at your house.
-4 cups of miniature marshmallows (8 ounces) -1 pound of powdered sugar (4 cups) , plus extra for dusting -2 tbsp water -Food colouring or flavoured extracts, optional
1) Place marshmallows in a microwaveable bowl. 2) Add water into the bowl of marshmallows. 3) Melt the marshmallows in the microwave for 30 second increments. (stirring in between, about 90 seconds in total will do the trick) 4) Once marshmallows are melted, fold in ¾ of the powdered sugar, then take it out of the bowl on to a surface dusted in powdered sugar and begin kneading the fondant. Continue to add powdered sugar if fondant is still sticky. 5) Once the fondant is ready, you may knead in the food colouring or flavouring of your choice.
6) But when doing so, you may need to add some more powdered sugar as the liquid will loosen the fondant.
VANILLA CAKE WITH BUTTERCREAM FROSTING
-1 recipe - Vanilla Cake with Buttercream Frosting - Click Here
1) Make the cake according to directions and use a 9 X 13 baking pan instead of the 3 round baking pans. Bake for 35 minutes and let cool before frosting with buttercream.
GLUTEN-FREE BEET INFUSED SUGAR COOKIES
-1 cup granulated sugar -½ cup butter, softened -1 large egg -1 tablespoon water or milk (you can use almond, rice, coconut or soy - I used a combo of almond and coconut) -1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract -¼ teaspoon salt -½ teaspoon xanthan gum (leave it out if your gluten free flour already has it incorporated in it) -2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour + more for rolling/dusting -½ teaspoon beet powder (you may have to adjust this depending on what colour pink you want to achieve)
1) In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the sugar and butter at medium speed. 2) Add the egg, water, vanilla, salt. Blend until mixed well. 3) Add the xanthan gum (if needed), flour and beetroot powder. Adjust the beetroot powder until the desired colour of pink is achieved. The cookie colour may lighten after baking so don't worry if you think they are too dark. Mix at a low speed until well combined. 4) Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or overnight. 5) Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat and set aside. 6) Roll out the dough onto a lightly floured surface, about ¼-inch thick. 7) Cut out the dough with heart shaped cookie cutters (or other desired shapes), and place the cookies on the baking sheet. Make sure the cookies are not touching or you will end up with one large cookie and that's just dumb - How do I know this? I've done it. 8) Gather up your cookie dough scraps and re-roll the dough, then continue cutting more cookies until all the dough is used up. I usually end up with one tiny blob of cookie dough at the end and make a really stupid looking cookie just for me. 9) Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet before removing them to a cooling rack. They will still be soft so this is an important step - LET THEM COOL ON THAT SHEET OR THEY WILL FALL APART. 10) Once the cookies are completely cooled on the rack, decorate as desired. I used turbinado sugar infused with beet powder to get that pink colour.